paper trail

Attacking an annual British literary award; the year's best books; literature's worst families

Jynne Dilling Martin

Laurie Penny explains what’s wrong about the Bad Sex Award, the annual British award granted to the worst erotic fiction: Not only is the award dated, it’s also priggish.

At the TLS, John Ashbery, Michael Dirda, Marjorie Perloff, and others pick their favorite books of the year.

We’ve been enjoying the recent reports and photographs from Jynne Dilling Martin, a poet, a publicist, and currently the 2013 Artist in Residence in Antarctica.

Bookriot has compiled a list of the worst fictional families to spend Thanksgiving with. We were somewhat surprised not to find the Pollits, from Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loves Children, or any family from an Ivy Compton-Burnett novel.

At the New Yorker’s Page Turner blog, novelist Teju Cole considers the great photographer Saul Leiter, who died on Tuesday. “The content of Saul Leiter’s photographs arrives on a sort of delay: it takes a moment after the first glance to know what the picture is about. You don’t so much see the image as let it dissolve into your consciousness, like a tablet in a glass of water.”

Donal Ryan’s The Spinning Heart has won The Guardian’s first book award.